Once and Again
Destiny Turns On The Radio

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Destiny Turns On The Radio

We open, yet again, in the kitchen of Manning Manor, with a close-up of a Bose radio. A woman's voice is grating over the airwaves: "As I told the last caller, you can't choose your family, but you can choose whether or not to shack up with a perverted loser!" The camera pans to an amused Eli, who's busy making a sandwich. Because Eli eats a lot, which, it seems, is all you need to know about him these days.

Cut to the radio station where Lily works. It's the source of the bitchy family-values advocate to whom Eli was listening. A delivery guy hands off a paper bag to Lily as the Curmudgeon and the woman snipe at one another in the broadcasting booth behind them. Apparently, the Curmudgeon is berating the woman for missing a number of shows in order to do seminars and self-help tapes "and god knows what else." She snottily informs him that he can't cancel her because she missed shows. She mentions their contract, but he's unruffled. Lily slips in and hangs nervously behind the Curmudgeon, unobtrusively trying to hand off his styrofoam soup container. The Curmudgeon points put that the contract guarantees her "best efforts," and argues that "seventeen shows in six weeks" hardly constitutes her best efforts. The woman stands, searching through her things on the table and huffing that he can't threaten her in the middle of a show. He insists that she's "spread too thin." "Oh, bite me!" she explodes. She rifles through the stuff on the table, griping that she can't find her "stupid, stupid notes!" Lily reaches over to help her search, and the woman shrieks, "Don't touch my stuff!" The producer gives the host the "we're a go" finger-point, and she slaps the earphones back on her head, demurely takes her seat, and calmly reminds her listeners that they're listening to the Sheri Snyderman show. Jesus, this caricature has got about as much depth as her cardboard cutout in the station's lobby. We fade to commercials with the Curmudgeon looking fed up and Lily looking stunned at the Jekyll-and-Hyde-ian display. I seize the opportunity to get in a few eye-muscle exercises. Something tells me my eyeballs will be doing more loop-de-loops than a Six Flags coaster this episode.

After commercials, we find Grace and her merry band of thespians rehearsing As You Like It. She and some guy are bantering back and forth, in character, and the camera pans to show the other cast members' rapt faces. Creepitri, rumpled as ever, watches with a pleased expression. The camera moves back to Grace and the guy, as her character taunts him about being cuckolded. He responds with flattery, and strokes her face, prompting Grace to erupt into self-conscious laughter. Creepitri wryly comments, "And then Rosalind begins to giggle uncontrollably." Grace sputters, "Tad!" "Tad"? I always thought "tad" was an adjective used by stuffy old people with funny accents. According to my dictionary, it also means "small boy." Interesting. Tad innocently asks, "What?" Grace acts as if he knows exactly what he did, and Tad protests, "Dude, I am innocent!" Tad spots a bottle of water in the front row and asks whose it is. Jessie, sitting next to it, pipes up that it's hers. Tad takes a seat and helps himself, offhandedly asking whether he may finish it. Jessie scrunches her nose and uncertainly says he can. Creepitri asks whether anyone has comments, and A.J. offers, "Tad was just being the typical player. I mean, Orlando." A few more comments are made, and then Tad raises his hand to ask, "When Rosalind says that he 'comes slowly,' is that another reference to sex?" Everyone chuckles, and Creepitri smiles indulgently, turning the question around and asking what Tad thinks. "Heh, dude," Tad says, slapping hands with A.J. I'd like to give him a tad of a backhand. From the stage, Grace glances at Tad a couple of times, looking nervous and establishing that she's interested in the small boy. The students start to grab their things and file out, while Creepitri hollers out that the parent meeting for the play has been changed to Friday night. "Same night as Tassio's bowling party," Tad mutters. He passes Grace, and she follows him with her eyes, looking as though she'd like to say something to him. "Huge leap forward today," Creepitri calls out, as if anybody's listening to him.

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Once and Again

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